1 Samuel 15:1-23 (KJV)

1  Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord.
2  Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
4  And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
5  And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.laid…: or, fought
6  And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
7  And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
8  And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
9  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.fatlings: or, second sort
10 Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying,
11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.
12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.
14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
16Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?
18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.they…: Heb. they consume them
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?
20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

When God calls you to do something specific, how do you respond?

Now, most of us don’t raise a fist at Him and yell, “I won’t do it!” Instead, we usually struggle with the idea for a while.

Sometimes we argue, telling Him all the reasons why it won’t work.

At other times, we’ll begin to doubt we heard Him right and then deny that He’s even called us.

Or we could react like Jonah and simply run the other direction (Jonah 1:2-3).

However, there’s another response that is often so subtle we don’t even recognize it as disobedience.

Substituting our plan for God’s is a way to appear obedient and yet avoid doing what we don’t like.

That’s how King Saul responded to the divine command he’d been given.

In his eyes, saving a few animals to sacrifice to the Lord seemed like a better idea than God’s.

Saul’s sin seems obvious to us, but we’re often unaware of the ways we make similar substitutions.

Maybe God is calling you to serve in a particular way, but because you’re afraid, you decide to serve in a less challenging area.

Or perhaps you work extra hard on the job so the Lord won’t notice you’re neglecting your family.

Sometimes we have so blended our plans with His that we cannot even differentiate between the two.

What are you substituting for obedience in your life?

By offering a “better” plan, are you quietly and subtly resisting God’s call to live fully committed to Him?

There’s no way you can ever improve on His plan for your life.

Those who try to alter it lead powerless lives, because partial obedience is disobedience.

Please follow and like us: